Magnificent landscapes between dream beaches, jungle and waterfalls, welcoming population, pleasant climate all year long...
Martinique, a small island of 1100 km2 attached to France, has many assets to offer to travelers from Belgium!
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Here is a small guide containing the essential information to prepare your stay, from departure to arrival at your destination.
To reach Martinique from Belgium, you can count on 2 companies:
Air Belgium ;
With Air Belgium's offers, you can enjoy direct flights from Brussels Charleroi airport. Count then on about 10 hours of travel to arrive at the airport of Fort-de-France. With Air France, you can expect 2 stopovers (Paris and Amsterdam) and 17 hours of travel time.
Booking with Air Belgium is therefore the fastest and most convenient way to get to Martinique from Belgium. A non-stop flight assures you of a comfortable trip. Departure is every Saturday. The return days are variable.
The advantage of Air France is that there are more departure days, which allows you to target more precisely the dates of your business trip or your vacation in Martinique.
If you can get to Paris Orly or Charles de Gaulle airport, a direct flight will take you to Martinique in less than 9 hours.
To take your plane, simply bring your identity card. As a citizen of a European Union country, you do not need a passport for this destination.
Are you wondering when to go to Martinique? Thanks to relatively stable temperatures throughout the year, your stay in Martinique will remain pleasant regardless of the period you choose, especially if you plan to enjoy the sea and water activities.
In addition to being turquoise, the water offers you a bath between 27 and 30°C! On the land side, temperatures average between 28 and 32°C all year round.
However, the island has two main seasons:
The dry season between December and April: this is the high season;
The rainy season, or wintering, between May and November.
The high humidity of the winter season can make hiking activities more difficult. If you are planning to climb, it is best to book your flight during the dry season.
It is also during this period of particularly mild weather that the major cultural events in Martinique take place:
Jazz Festival (November-December) ;
Chanté Nwel (December);
Carnival (February or March)...
Thanks to the tropical climate, Martinique offers a flowery show all year round. There is no season either to taste its rum (the sugar cane harvest usually starts in February) or to visit the island's museums!
When flying from Belgium to Martinique, you can bring 2 types of luggage:
Hand luggage of 10 kg maximum;
Hold luggage of 30 kg maximum (23 kg with Air France).
The airlines prohibit a certain number of products in both types of luggage, in particular in checked luggage:
Food and perishable products;
Electronic devices and working documents;
Fragile and valuable items;
Money in cash...
All dangerous objects (weapons, knives, scissors...) are prohibited in hand luggage and liquids are limited to 1 L divided into several containers of 100 mL maximum.
Would you like to bring back some rum on your return flight to Charleroi or Paris? In either case, you are allowed 1 L per person of alcohol over 22°C. This rule is also valid in Guadeloupe.
To bring back more, you will have to put it in separate packages and declare it to the customs. Although Martinique is a European country, it is subject to a specific tax system.
As Martinique is not an independent country but a department of France, the island is part of the euro zone. Therefore, you do not have to change money when you arrive at Fort-de-France airport from Brussels: the currency is the euro, as in Belgium.
The cost of living is however higher than in Belgium because of the island nature of Martinique. For an evening at a restaurant during your vacation, count 15 to 40 € for the main course (from pork colombo to lobster), about 10 € for the starter and 5 to 10 € for the dessert.
The famous ti punch from Martinique costs at least 3 € and a glass of planteur nearly 8 €. A meal in a restaurant therefore costs between 30 and 50 € per person. The small budgets will however appreciate the numerous local fast-foods such as the snack Elizé, very appreciated by the population and that you will be able to find in Fort-de-France, Ducos or in Lamentin.
At the supermarket, everything costs about 40% more than in Belgium. If the flight represents the most important expense during a trip from Belgium to Martinique, the food budget should not be underestimated.
For accommodation, if many hotels are waiting for you, the network of B&B accommodation is also very organized, clean and comfortable: it is an alternative solution to the classic hotels that you should try if you dream of a trip close to the Martinique people without giving up the quality of the accommodation!
Restaurant and vacation vouchers are accepted in many establishments provided they have been issued in France. Check their zone of validity directly on your checks.
The Martiniquais speak French and Creole. However, English is widely spoken, especially in the tourist industry.
In Martinique, electrical outlets are the same as in France and Belgium, i.e. type C, D and E. You will not need an adapter.
Martinique is an ideal destination for families. Apply the same cautionary reflexes as everywhere else (don't leave anything in your rental car, avoid leaving your wallet in plain sight on your backpack...) or walking around in the middle of the night, and your stay on the island will take place in the best conditions.
Finally, don't forget that you will have a 5-hour time difference. If it is 8 hours from Brussels airport, it is 13 hours in Fort-de-France!
Martinique offers a wide range of activities to enjoy the richness of the Caribbean. Like many Caribbean islands, Martinique is famous for its beaches, which you will have the pleasure of discovering are absolutely all public, including in front of the big hotel chains such as Pierre et Vacances or Club Med.
If you can opt for a lazy session, many travelers take a ticket to this destination to be able to explore the seabed, diving for the more adventurous or snorkelling, accessible to all.
Hiking in Martinique is also a key activity. From Sainte-Anne in the south, the piton Crève-Coeur offers a 360° panorama, the Pointe Rouge trail allows you to discover the mangrove and the Couleuvre waterfall forces the admiration of travelers by its 120 meters high waterfall...
A stay in Martinique is ideal to taste the gastronomy of the West Indies. Do not miss :
The ti punch ;
The ferocious (avocado, cod, cassava, pepper) ;
The accras ;
The smoked chicken (marinated and smoked on the grill); Banana gratin...
If your hotel offers a local restaurant, you should find these dishes without difficulty! If not, take your rental car to scour the restaurants and savor the pleasures of Martinique's street food!
Martinique has a poorly developed public transportation network. A rental car is therefore essential for both tourist and business trips.
At Europcar, you will find offers adapted to the island's terrain: no car with less than 90 HP! You will be able to go from the beach to the mountains of northern Martinique with ease. From family cars to 4x4s and sedans, we offer vehicles adapted to all types of stays.
Pick up your rental car in Martinique as soon as you arrive at your destination, after having taken a shuttle to leave the airport of Fort-de-France, and go without further delay to your hotel!
While driving, keep an eye out for speed cameras. If they were burned during the December 2021 demonstrations, they are being replaced. The speed limits are identical to those in mainland France. Note that there is no highway in Martinique.
When you fill up with gasoline before returning your vehicle, do not be surprised to see pump attendants at the station: this profession has endured on the island, and it is not up to you to fill your tank! Just explain the amount you want to put in, or indicate that you want a full tank.
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